May 14, 2021 Tribal



With comment from the National Indian Gaming Association and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Gaming America looks into the return of the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention, running concurrently with the Reservation Economic Summit, and a partnering to illustrate economic diversification in Indian Country

As live events begin to make headway out of the imposed hibernation brought on by the pandemic, the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention, hosted by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), is set to go live again in Las Vegas on July 19 to 22 at the Caesars Forum. It will be co-located with The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s (NCAIED) Reservation Economic Summit (RES), which is taking place July 19 to 21 at the adjacent Bally’s and Paris Hotel & Casino. Originally scheduled to take place in April in San Diego, the decision to postpone and move the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention to Las Vegas was a solution based on local regulations and the ability to provide an in-person event for Indian Country and the gaming industry.

One of the marquee events in the gaming calendar, the Tradeshow & Convention has established itself as the premier event for the Indian Gaming industry, and a barometer for Native American economic progress. With meetings and conferences taking a huge hit during 2020, the Indian Gaming Association is joining the RES Indian Conference as one of the first Indian tradeshows in 2021.

Organizers are working diligently to structure an event that is fully equipped with attendee and visitor health and safety protocols in place as established by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolakand Clark County in order to provide a safe and effective meeting environment.

While those health and safety standards are new, organizers also emphasize that they won’t impact the content, networking events and the overall experience of the event as the all important aspects of the tradeshow that attendees have come to expect will still be presented, including the annual membership meeting, workshops, the gaming commissioner certification series and the Chairman’s honoring luncheon. There will also be a special emphasis on sports betting and the economic fallout from Covid-19. Each topic will be carefully chosen to offer the best perspectives, strategies and tactics from experts and thought leaders within the industry by conference chair, Victor Rocha, and Associate Members Education Track Advisory Committee. But the primary focus will be on the important topics that will help operators and vendors succeed in today's ever-changing gaming landscape as tribes reconfigure and adjust to new business models.

With new approaches in mind, organizers hope to put on the first large gathering of tribal leaders and casino executives in the country.

“We are excited to announce this partnership with the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, which hosts RES, as well as our new dates and location,” said Ernie Stevens, Jr., chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association. “It’s more important than ever for Indian Country to unite at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention and RES as we continue the rebuilding of tribal businesses following the Covid-19pandemic. Our two great organizations have a long history of coming together to support one another and in this unique year, the joint venture helps coordinate our two shows in one city, and allows for the maximum amount of time for our attendees to secure vaccinations and safely travel.”

Conducting business this year is uniquely important as the pandemic’s devastation can still be felt throughout tribes across the country. But as we move through the summer, vaccination numbers are growing, and cities across the country are seeing casinos re-open and tribal economies rebuilding business with innovative approaches.

The Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention will build on its strong foundation of networking, where the Indian community gathers to learn and exchange industry-specific ideas, and its reputation as a cultural celebration of success, unity and self-reliance.

"We're excited to announce our partnership with the National Indian Gaming Association at this year's Reservation Economic Summit" said CEO and president of NCAIED Chris James, "With this new format, attendees can register for three significant events focused on economic development in Indian Country. Through resiliency and reinvention with our current partnership with American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL), we'll bring together leaders from across Indian Country for a unique opportunity to uplift Native-owned businesses."